Sewing for Mum

My mum is amazing.  I don’t say that often enough for everything she does, but she is pretty incredible.

She’s also something of a wonderful dressmaker, up to and including making her own wedding dress, 2 of my aunts’ wedding dresses, all my bridesmaids’ dresses and still never letting me forget that I bought my own dress (sorry mum!)

So this makes sewing something for her rather intimidating.  Also, I rather like presents which are surprises and sewing without fitting is therefore not high on my to do list. However, Mother’s Day was heading towards me at speed and inspiration was not!

Enter the Grainline Studio scout tee and some rather bold, mod inspired fabric I bought on eBay at some point last year.

If you’ve never seen it before (how?), the Scout is a boxy, woven t-shirt with a scoop neck and absolutely no darts of any kind – hurrah!  Clearly it needs a nice, drapey fabric for success but I thought I might just get away with not fitting this one.

The sizing chart looks as follows:


Mum’s measurements, based off her bust and waist, would put her around a size 16 on the chest and waist.  However, this is ridiculous; she’s 5’2″ and petite with it, so I decided to go off the finished measurements rather than the body measurements.  This decision was helped by the second fact that I know she doesn’t like things too loose, she tends to feel drowned in them.

So I cut a size 12 for her and figured we would treat this as a wearable toile! Gift or not, I was hoping that this would be one time when “it’s the thought that counts” might just ring true.

In terms of the process, this was a pretty quick sew.  The (massively man made!) fabric frayed like a (insert swear word of choice!) so I went with french seams throughout.


I also used a sharp needle in size 60 plus silk pins in the hope of not clicking it, which I just about got away with.

If I hadn’t been sewing in 10 minute chunks, this would easily have been a single evening’s sew.  As it was I probably added a good hour on just for setting up and packing away again several times, plus losing my place and adding thinking time! But all in all, it’s a nice, straightforward pattern and if you wanted to save fabric, you could always use shop bought bias instead of self bias round the neck.

All in all, I was reasonably pleased with it.  I love the pattern (clearly didn’t bother pattern matching on such a crazy pattern but I don’t think it matters.)

And the recipient?  Well, I think she liked it in general but she has since asked me whether she could have any offcut fabric in order to put an extra panel somehow into the neck as when she leans forwards, it swings out way too much 😦  So not a rounding success but this is the risk you take making things with zero fitting!

I have heard from several people that this pattern sizes big so I think I may just trace off the next size down and try again – I get the feeling that despite the issues I had, it would be worth persevering for a quick, useful, woven tee.

Also, I have to make me one too, right?

Becca xx

9 thoughts on “Sewing for Mum

Add yours

  1. I just made my first in a very drapy knit. Perfect for garden with shorts but coming down a size for woven. Some lovely examples on line but your fabric choice really suits the pattern. Mum’s are ace (aren’t we!) K xXx


  2. What a lovely present for your mum, and gorgeous fabric! I’ve made this pattern a few times & have found the neckline quite low, and the armholes slightly tight – but neither issue is bothersome enough to stop me wearing them. Definitely make one for yourself – it’s a great pattern!


  3. Well it was the thought that counted! Nice thought too, bet your mum loved that you made her something. Make one for yourself then you’ll have a better idea of how to change the fit for your mum.


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